My Civil War

Hey, thanks for bearing with me. Getting vids up a little late due to spring break. A friend said to me today, “You aren’t tan.”

I don’t tan. I don’t burn. I’m like an android. I get a tad rosey, and that’s it. Anyway, part of what’s fun about a family vacation is you all get to spend time together. No going off to work or school. Just us.

Once we are home everyone falls back into their same habits. And, well…

Look, no marriage is perfect…

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

When I got home from my trip, I felt a big surge of love for my husband. He had totally dealt with the kids. He had come early to let Dolly go home at a decent time, as opposed to letting it ride when I’m here. He even bailed on work one night because Vivien said she wanted him home. Ahhh, that’s my guy.

I got on an earlier plane and called them from the airport so Vivien stayed up for me. Also, she wanted to give me my birthday present, a coffee mug that she made with Mark at Color Me Mine.

“Momma, is it okay that there is some purple here?” It was more than okay. So sweet. Granted it probably cost $40 by the time it was done, but she had fun making it.

And I got what I really wanted for my birthday: two new nightgowns. They were EXACTLY what I wanted. Old-fashioned, short-sleeved, knee-length, vaguely house coats. My old gowns were literally fraying so it was time to set them ablaze. Or whatever you do with old nighties.

Phineas and Ferb

Yes, it’s pretty much on our house EVERY day. 

Not only does Vivien love it, so do Mark and I. He is hunkered down right now with her watching it. Come on, that’s a  clever show. Those boys can do anything. I like the writing, very funny.

Please note Mark’s new glasses. He got two pair; these are the slightly better ones. The others are rounder and light brown. I’m not a fan. We had a tiff about them since he bought them without me. Talk about “You don’t bring me flowers!” I can hear Babs and Neil Diamond now.

“When we first went out you liked that I came to pick our your glasses (which were way cooler and went better with his face than these ones).”

Him: “But my eyes are getting worse, and I just needed glasses.”

If you see steam roller I may chuck them underneath it when no one is looking.

Our Upside Down World

Imagine saying this… “Please don’t load the dishwasher; I’ll do it.”

At 5 a.m.: “No, don’t get up; I’ve got the baby, you sleep.”

These are the kind of things coming through my abnormally kind mouth the last 24 hours as Mark recuperates from his eye surgery. We went back to UCLA this morning at the doctor told him had he not had the surgery it would have been “catastrophic.” Yikes.

Happily Mark is not in any pain. It itches but not super bad. When the nurse took off the patch at the examination he said, “How does it look, honey?”

“You know that last scene in the original Rocky where he is screaming for Adrian? Like that.”

So he can’t leave the house for a week. He can move around, but no lifting, straining, bending over, gardening (there goes that herb garden I was looking forward to).

I was pretty freaked looking at his eye. Our vulnerability can hit us at times and make me shaky. Then you get over your fear and the other self takes over.

We had some nice, mellow moments at home today. Since he has to slow the pace down I said he better be careful ’cause without activity he could blimp up, and I’m not into being married to a big fattie.

He has been watching a lot of TV, and he did make some applesauce for Rex, which he loved. Ahhh.

A FEW HOURS LATER…

Okay, is he better yet?

Yes, he did coach me on how to make a sauce for the petrale sole I was making, but I am so used to him not being here. We just had a fight about the appropriate way to reprimand Vivien, or not at all… which was my vote. And Nosy Nellie decided to update my software thus causing me to lose things I had open on my computer.

I felt like a teenager in a sense saying, “Leave my stuff alone!!” He thinks if the software update thing is bouncing it means immediate action.

Okay, watching “Top Chef: Masters” finale with him was fun. He was really intense. We were both glad that Rick Bayless won. His food is incredible, and we personally really like him.

“I wish I could email him and congratulate him” Mark said.

“You can.” I said without thinking

“But I can’t read.” Oh, right.

I can do it for you. Group hug.

The Best Eggs

Wifeager. That’s a wife+ manager. I think that’s what I’ve become for Mark. In LA, there are a lot of Momagers, you know, for the child stars and the parents who can’t let go.  So, since I told you all about his stint on Top Chef: Masters I can’t stop there! Here is a link to another show my husband recently did. Not really a show, but  a web trailer for the new Julia Child movie. They approached him since he did know Julia Child. They asked him what he could make that would be simple and would fit with Julia Child. It’s a plug for Campanile and as we say in the biz, he can “put it on his reel”. ( sounds of me going through piles as I realize I need to make him one.)

So, he came up with Eggs for Daphne (ahhhh). He does make the best eggs in the world. He makes olive oil eggs, eggs in a whole, this eggs tortilla thing. But he named this one for me. Since Mark works at night, breakfast is our “date” time. Well, with two kids, it may not be a date anymore, but it is the one meal we can usually spend together and the one he makes the most at our home.

So, enjoy the short film (4 min I think), and tell me if you are able to make them and love them like I do.

(In the background is his Chef de Cusine Erica. A very important job. If he didn’t have someone good like Erica working with him he’d really be AWOL from home.)

Top Chef Masters: My Own Watching Party

Okay, I couldn’t watch it live. Even though I knew the outcome, it made me more nervous than I realized. We went over to Mark’s restaurant and ate, and I had a big glass of white wine (I like them dry and minerally). After the bunnies were in bed, and Mark came home from work, I watched it.

It’s funny since I have hosted reality shows, and I know how much of it is set up and made in the editing room, yet I was still drawn in to see my husband compete.

For those that didn’t see it, I think Mark did very well. He looked handsome, and he was genial and articulate. Which is why I think they used a lot of his sound bites. I also thought the New Orleans chef Jeff Besh came off as a very likable guy. I found the other two chefs were mumblers and a tad harder to understand, but nice enough.

Mark had been saying for months (It was shot a while ago) “I could have done better in the Quick Fire.”  Ironic that his flaw was forgetting the olive oil when I have learned so much about cooking with olive oil.

Stefano stava cucinando
Creative Commons License photo credit: BobbyProm

In the challenge, he had to tie one hand behind his back (they all did). I loved that they had him talking about his dad who was born with only one hand. And that they showed the sweet photo of he and his dad when Mark was little. His dad was pretty solid. He was a teacher. Taught special ed and drivers ed and painted houses in the summer to support his family… with one arm!

The shows goes a fast clip, but Mark was AWOL from home for two and half days. He said there was a lot of sitting around. And the judges’ deliberation that takes about 2 minute in the show? That took 3 hours. He and the other chefs did sit around and drink and wait… and wait.

While we watched, I would pause and ask him things like, “Was your fish overcooked?”  He said probably: “They say you are going to go, and then you have to wait.”  Ah the magic of “reality” television.

When it came down to just he and one other after the other two chefs were ordered to get their knifes and get lost, I said, “Do you feel bad when people are eliminated?”

He said with a smile, “No.”

My Top Chef

Okay, tonight is the night! My husband Mark Peel will be on Bravo’s Top Chef: Masters. I’m a bit of a stage mom so I have to chat him up. He is a very unassuming guy who never blows his own horn. And I want him to have some recognition.

Last year when we got the bad Madoff news I said, “2009 is going to be a good year for you.” His restaurant celebrated it’s 20th year; his cook book comes out in the fall; and his new cocktail bar will open in the fall. I said one of of my goals this year is for you to get on Top Chef. I asked a casting friend I know to submit him and also my agents did so, but it’s so Mark that I think they just found him by his own reputation. In the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, he is the Tortoise.

The Bravo site has different behind-the-scenes stuff with the chefs. They asked Mark to send in some video and pictures. The request sat there for weeks before I took up the task.  I said:

“You know, I know something about doing videos for the web”. I hope they use what I sent in!

Of course, he is also a great dad, and he sweetly carried Rex around Campanile the other night so I could eat with my friend and Vivien and her friend.  No wonder I love him… whether he wins or not tonight.

I Never Developed My Wedding Pictures

We just passed my wedding anniversary so this is a timely video.

I’ve been married twice, but to the same man.

First we had a “shot gun” wedding as I was 6 months pregnant.  A really lovely ceremony in our living room. We threw it together in 5 days.  Mark’s friend who is a judge married us and we had about 10 people there. Family and two friends.  His restaurant catered a brunch.  In the afternoon we drove down to Palm Springs for our honeymoon. It was Perfect.  My mom said it was one of the best weddings she had ever been to.  I think the only one she liked more was my brother’s which had a total of 5 people attending. We had lovely photos and I put them in a book as I waited for my daughter to be born.

But, I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  When Vivien was a year we had a big, blow out 3 day long wedding redux in Palm Springs.  There was the “Daphne Open” golf tourney.  The “Mark croquet” morning.  You know the kind of thing one can do BEFORE a certain notable Ponzi scheme was found out.

I won’t kid you too, I looked good at the 2nd wedding.  I had lost my baby weight and then some.  The desert color made every one look like a movie star.  So, Why don’t I have ONE photo framed or in a book?

hmmmmm

Who Runs the Party?

Now, not one of those many stories about who is in charge of the GOP Rush Limbaugh or um, or somebody else.  But kiddie birthday parties. (Pic is of Vivien’s 1st bday, which we had in Palm Springs the night before our wedding redux.) Most parties I go to the mom has the grand plan, and she is telling dad.

“Fill the ice chest”

“Time for pinata; what it’s not hung up yet, get to it, scrappy.”  Stuff like that.

Well, my eye went to this past Sunday’s style section in the NY Times (since Monday cannot begin until I have) to a story about a dad who decided to start running the kiddie parties.

I asked Mark, “Gave you ever run a kiddie party?”  Since he was married before and has three children from his previous marriage, I figured this issue had come up before.

“Well, in my experience, mothers don’t want to cede control of the kiddie party. They have an idea of where it should go, and if I didn’t buy the pink plates or whatever, the mother (notice how he tries to be diplomatic when speaking of his third wife) had in mind they get mad.”

Point well taken. I said, “Well why don’t you plan Vivien’s 4th birthday party?”

He said, “okay” with the same suspicion as if I had said, “Let’s ask that big busted 29-year-old woman to join our marriage.”  Like if he said “yes,” he will get slapped.

I thought for a second. “Okay, if you didn’t pull it off, I would be pissed. If there were no balloons, pony, fairy clown, favors for the kids, jumping house, etc., I would probably come unglued.”

He nodded.  “I can refill the ice chest,”  he kindly offered.

So, like so many issues this is something I have to work on myself.